The placement of dental implants is a solution for replacing missing teeth, bridging a gap with several missing teeth, or securing full dentures for a better, more comfortable fit.
When you have missing teeth, there are different options for replacing those teeth with dental implants.
The dental implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes, and are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for the artificial teeth. After healing, small posts are then attached to the dental implants, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, and prevent bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
DENTAL IMPLANT SURGICAL PROCEDURE
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, dental implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the dental implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures or partials, and eat a normal to soft diet during this time.
After the dental implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second stage begins. Your surgeon will uncover the dental implants, and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the gums, allowing access for your general dentist to begin the restorative stage of the implant process. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily lives.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
If you are considering dental implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly, and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you are not an ideal candidate for dental implants, other procedures, such as bone grafting, may be recommended to improve potential outcomes.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in the office under comfortable, intravenous sedation.
WHAT TYPE OF PROSTHESES ARE AVAILABLE?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth- each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own dental implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth, and may require only two or three dental implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed bridges and screw in dentures are permanent and removable only by the dentist. The number of dental implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis is recommended.
WHO PERFORMS THE DENTAL IMPLANT PLACEMENT?
Many times there is confusion on who places implants, as anyone can legally place an implant. We believe ideally dental implants should be a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While your oral surgeon performs the actual dental implant surgery in Cleveland TN, and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting when necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process. Under most circumstances, dental implant surgery is performed in the surgeon’s office.
WHY CHOOSE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
There are several reasons to choose dental implants. Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing. There are even situations where the dental implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction- further minimizing the number of surgical procedures required. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place dental implants at one visit.